I wish I had not forgotten my camera
the day Kristina Michelle was christened
a clear day in mid-February
pure snow on the ground in upstate New York
at Saint Anne’s church along the dirt road
an itinerant preacher renewing the vows.
Would I remember how tiny she was
how her long white dress fit so perfectly
if I had no picture pasted in the album?
She was crying at home in her bonnet
but when the water hit her head
she lay quiet in her mother’s arms.
I smelled the incense
felt the oil on her fair skin
trusting to memory the candle’s glow.
—from Rattle #20, Winter 2003
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